http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=2074785 January 20, 2003 MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has become the first country to get its hands on one of the world's most closely guarded corporate secrets -- Microsoft Corp.'s blueprint for its computer programs, the software giant said on Monday. The U.S. software giant announced last week it would unveil its source code to governments to help them protect state software used for tracking personal data, taxes and ensuring national security. "Russia is the first country to sign such an agreement with us, but it will not be the only one," said Olga Dergunova, managing director of Microsoft's Moscow office. Signing on to Microsoft's Government Security Program will allow Russia, and any other signatory, to weave its own technology into Microsoft's Windows platform and adapt Windows to its needs and test its ability to fend off hackers. With this move, Microsoft aims to strengthen its position in government markets, where it faces growing competitive pressure from free open-source software. Russia, long considered one of the world's most secretive countries itself, in February will receive the first portions of the code -- a sequence of letters and numbers roughly 30 million lines long. It was not immediately clear what projects the government intended to use the code for. "Russia's chief demand was to get access to Microsoft's full code, with no omissions," said Yevgeny Karavayeshnikov, head of the FAPSI state intelligence and surveillance agency, which had authorized the agreement on behalf of the Russian government. To woo governments, Microsoft has said it will make its source code mainly available to them over the Internet and for free, provided they do not disclose it. Compiled or turned into electronic language understood only by machines, the code is expected to be made available to more than 60 governments and agencies worldwide, including the NATO defense alliance. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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